Ko Pha Ngan island on a realistic budget!
It’s more than just a place for drunken tourists and “magic milkshakes”, famously known as the land of coconut trees, incredible beaches and of course the (one night a month) full moon parties on Haad Rin Beach. People from all corners of the earth do stream into Ko Pha Ngan in pretty huge numbers. I’m talking 10,000 to 30,000, for one night and one night only, and the next day the island would completely empty out.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I happened to be one of those party travelers at the time, I was young and energetic…(this was last year but hey, who’s asking?)
In the spirit of no longer wanting to follow the crowd, My friends and I decided to stay for two more days in order to get a better feel of the island and my oh my did It have a lot more to offer.
How to get there
Ko Pha Ngan is an island off the coast of Surat thani, along with two other islands Koh Samui and Koh Tao. There are many ways to get there but we chose the most convenient, if not time friendly route, a short flight from Bangkok to Surat thani . It cost us $40, quite affordable right?
A Thai friend of ours hosted us for the night at her wonderful home. At the crack of dawn my friends were at the back of a hilux truck on our way to the port to catch the 8:00 am ferry to the island. The ferry ride was about 3 hours long, ($7). From the ferry port we grabbed a shared cab to Haad Rin beach and checked into our hotel.
Where to stay
While there are plenty of beach shacks to choose from ($12) a night, budget travelers like me, basically go for the numerous hostels scattered all over the island, as cheap as ($6) a night.
What to do
If you’re looking for a great time, well you’re in luck, as there’s always something happening around the corner:
- Waterfall parties
- The Jungle experience (usually 4 days before the full moon party)
- Slip and slide parties
- The Full moon Party
If you’re just looking to relax and enjoy the stunning beaches and mountainous landscapes and viewpoints this island has to offer;
- Check out the spectacular golden skies at Haad Rin Sunrise and sunset beaches
- Malibu Beach, very peaceful
- Visit the beautiful waterfalls and lookouts in the interior of the island.
- Bottle beach (very secluded)
- Snorkelling, Kayaking and diving trips.
What to eat
Thai street food is my go to meal when I travel ($1), tasty Pad Thai being my ultimate favorite.
While in Ko Pha Ngan be sure to try out treats such as coconut ice-creams, banana nutella pancakes and fresh fruit shakes all along the Haad Rin beach streets. Incase you’re more in an indoor meal kind of mood, there are plenty of restaurants one could opt for. My favorite being The Rock Bar which offers a wide range of delectable affordable meals and a grand sea view.
- Motorcycle and scooter rentals have proved to be the most economical mode of transport, rental locations all over, prices ranging from $3 to $7 per day. Bear In mind that this island has a very mountainous terrain, dangerous winding roads, inexperienced or drunk driving can and will cause accidents.
- Songthaews (makeshift pickup vans) are not as cheap but safety is guaranteed.
- Taxis are few but available, one should be ready to drop a couple of dimes for this luxury.
Next week I’ll be sharing about the little divine town called Krabi that absolutely stole my heart.